Filing a whistleblower claim is a heroic act. You are protecting taxpayer dollars and promoting accountability in our nation's largest industries—but to do so takes courage and a fair amount of risk on your part.
Signed by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and known as the Lincoln Law, the federal FCA allows anyone with credible evidence of fraud against the government to bring a whistleblower lawsuit against the offending entity in the name of the federal government. Since its inception, most states, and multiple municipalities across the country, have adopted mirror images of the federal FCA law.
Although it’s often used to evade taxes, redirect taxpayer money to bribe foreign officials, or get around economic sanctions, money laundering is more than just a financial matter. This type of fraud implies the conduct of the illegal activity, which may include anything from drug smuggling to the trafficking of humans and weapons.
COVID-19 is the worst pandemic to hit the world in over 100 years, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. And while the arrival of a vaccine promises brighter days ahead, there is another challenge that must still be addressed: combating COVID-19 healthcare fraud.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Fiscal Year 2020 report notes that 2020 is a record year for the Whistleblower Program. Since the program was established in 2011, whistleblower tips have resulted in the Commission awarding 106 individuals approximately $562 million.
The False Claims Act makes it illegal to falsify records or make false claims of any kind regarding a federal healthcare program. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers and individual employees still deceive the federal government to pocket extra money, filling their claims with technical medical jargon to hide their fraud. Given the importance of a trustworthy healthcare system and the lack of policing of this type of deception, the role of the whistleblower is crucial.
For as long as the federal government has been spending money, there have been people who try to steal and defraud the government of that money for their own benefit. From overcharging for military equipment to faking medical services, the federal government loses billions every year to scammers and unscrupulous federal contractors.
The United States government spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year on healthcare programs. This includes Medicaid, Medicare, healthcare for veterans, and a host of others. Whatever the funding program, it is often non-governmental healthcare agencies, contractors, and businesses that provide the actual care.
Most of the agencies and businesses that provide government-funded healthcare services conduct their services properly and honestly. These industries are mostly filled with good people trying to do good work, concerned with making sure the government’s money is well-spent.
“Whistleblowing” is when someone notifies authorities that a company or agency they work for has defrauded the government. Whistleblowing is an act of public service, as it helps prevent the waste and theft of taxpayer funds.
Unfortunately, whistleblowing can make your employer angry, and they may seek retaliation against you. If you have filed a whistleblower complaint, or are considering filing one, you may be concerned about potential retaliation. Here are a few things you should know about whistleblower retaliation and what you can do to protect yourself.